Matching Items (14)

134620-Thumbnail Image.png

Detrital-Zircon and Paleontological Constraints on Correlations of Pennsylvanian-Permian Rocks Near Sedona, Arizona

Description

This research focuses on a geologic controversy regarding the stratigraphic position of the Hermit Formation outside of the Grand Canyon, specifically in Sedona, Arizona. The goal of this research is

This research focuses on a geologic controversy regarding the stratigraphic position of the Hermit Formation outside of the Grand Canyon, specifically in Sedona, Arizona. The goal of this research is to provide additional constraints on this dispute by pinpointing the transition to the Hermit Formation in Sedona, if possible. To accomplish this, we use field observations and detrital zircon dating techniques to compare data we collected in Sedona with data previously published for the Grand Canyon. Fossil evidence in Sedona and near Payson, Arizona is also used to aid correlation. Starting from the Grand Canyon, the Hermit Formation pinches out to the southeast and, hypothetically obstructed by the Sedona Arch, does not reach Sedona. Detrital zircon data show similar age distributions between the Grand Canyon and Sedona rock units, but the results are not strong enough to confidently correlate units between these two localities. The data collected for this study suggest that if the Hermit Formation is present in Sedona, it is limited to higher up in the section as opposed to occupying the middle portion of the section as is currently interpreted. To determine with greater accuracy whether the Hermit Formation does exist higher in the section of Sedona, more detrital zircons should be collected and analyzed from the part of the section that yielded a relative increase in young zircons aged 200-600 Ma.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

148027-Thumbnail Image.png

Landslide Blocks within Miocene Sedimentary Rocks of Papago Park

Description

Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona (USA) is host to several buttes composed of landslide breccias. The focus of this thesis is a butte called “Contact Hill,” which is composed of

Papago Park in Tempe, Arizona (USA) is host to several buttes composed of landslide breccias. The focus of this thesis is a butte called “Contact Hill,” which is composed of metarhyolitic debris flows, granitic debris flows, and Barnes Butte Breccia. The Barnes Butte Breccia can be broken down into several different compositional categories that can be dated based on their relative ages. The depositional timeline of these rocks is explored through their mineral and physical properties. The rhyolitic debris flow is massively bedded and dips at 26° to the southeast. The granitic debris flow is not bedded and exhibits a mixture of granite clasts of different grain sizes. In thin section analysis, five mineral types were identified: opaque inclusions, white quartz, anhedral and subhedral biotite, yellow stained K-feldspar, and gray plagioclase. It is hypothesized that regional stretching and compression of the crust, accompanied with magmatism, helped bring the metarhyolite and granite to the surface. Domino-like fault blocks caused large brecciation, and collapse of a nearby quartzite and granite mountain helped create the Barnes Butte Breccia: a combination of quartzite, metarhyolite, and granite clasts. Evidence of Papago Park’s ancient terrestrial history is seen in metarhyolite clasts containing sand grains. These geologic events, in addition to erosion, are responsible for Papago Park’s unique appearance today.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

135035-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effect of the IRIS REU Program on Student Retention in Geoscience

Description

For the geoscience community to continue to grow, students need to be attracted to the field. Here we examine the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Research Experience for Undergraduates

For the geoscience community to continue to grow, students need to be attracted to the field. Here we examine the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program to understand how the participants' experiences' affects their interest in geoscience and educational and career goals. Eleven interns over two years (2013-2014) were interviewed prior to the start of their internship, after their internship, and after presenting their research at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting. This internship program is of particular interest because many of the interns come into the REU with non-geoscience or geophysics backgrounds (e.g., physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering). Both a priori and emergent codes are used to convert interview transcripts into quantitative data, which is analyzed alongside demographic information to understand how the REU influences their decisions. Increases in self-efficacy and exposure to multiple facets of geoscience research are expressed as primary factors that help shape their future educational and career goals. Other factors such as networking opportunities and connections during the REU also can play a role in their decision. Overall, REU participants who identified as geosciences majors solidified their decisions to pursue a career in geosciences, while participants who identified as non-geosciences majors were inclined to change majors, pursue geosciences in graduate school, or explore other job opportunities in the geosciences.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

130875-Thumbnail Image.png

Developing a Dual-Medium Virtual Environment for Geoscience Education Research and Teaching

Description

This project produced a dual-medium (traditional screen & virtual reality) virtual environment of Barnhardt Canyon, in Payson, Arizona. The project showcases two different approaches to developing a virtual environment with

This project produced a dual-medium (traditional screen & virtual reality) virtual environment of Barnhardt Canyon, in Payson, Arizona. The project showcases two different approaches to developing a virtual environment with both being centered by 360 degree content. The virtual environment allows a user to explore the area in a much more immersive way than offered by traditional media. Future uses of the project could include research on the educational efficacy of virtual reality content, or the project could be used as a teaching tool in geoscience classes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

Cloud Piercers: Mountains and Adventure in Western North America

Description

The mountains of western North America are spectacular and diverse, from sheer walls of crumbling black limestone in the Canadian Rockies, to smooth glacially polished granite in the Wind River

The mountains of western North America are spectacular and diverse, from sheer walls of crumbling black limestone in the Canadian Rockies, to smooth glacially polished granite in the Wind River Range, to gargantuan ice-clad volcanoes in the Cascades. These great bastions of rock, snow, and ice, still very much wild and untamed, provide an incredible arena for adventure, exploration, and challenge. Over the past three years, I have devoted thousands of hours to exploring these vast wild places, climbing high peaks, steep cliffs, and frozen waterfalls. In doing so, I studied the rich geologic history of the mountains. This thesis project is a compilation of stories and images from those adventures, along with the stories of the mountains themselves: how the rocks were formed, thrust skyward, and sculpted over the ages into their present, glorious form. The photographic and detailed narrative of the geology and adventures is on a new website called Cloud Piercers, which currently features three geologically diverse mountain massifs: (1) Mount Rainier, an active volcano in the Cascade Range of Washington; (2) Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, within a terrain of folded Paleozoic sedimentary rocks; and (3) the Wind River Range of Wyoming, composed mostly of Archean metamorphic and granitic rocks. This website will be expanded in the future as the geologic studies and adventures continue.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

156594-Thumbnail Image.png

Remote Sensing and Modeling of Stressed Aquifer Systems and the Associated Hazards

Description

Aquifers host the largest accessible freshwater resource in the world. However, groundwater reserves are declining in many places. Often coincident with drought, high extraction rates and inadequate replenishment result in

Aquifers host the largest accessible freshwater resource in the world. However, groundwater reserves are declining in many places. Often coincident with drought, high extraction rates and inadequate replenishment result in groundwater overdraft and permanent land subsidence. Land subsidence is the cause of aquifer storage capacity reduction, altered topographic gradients which can exacerbate floods, and differential displacement that can lead to earth fissures and infrastructure damage. Improving understanding of the sources and mechanisms driving aquifer deformation is important for resource management planning and hazard mitigation.

Poroelastic theory describes the coupling of differential stress, strain, and pore pressure, which are modulated by material properties. To model these relationships, displacement time series are estimated via satellite interferometry and hydraulic head levels from observation wells provide an in-situ dataset. In combination, the deconstruction and isolation of selected time-frequency components allow for estimating aquifer parameters, including the elastic and inelastic storage coefficients, compaction time constants, and vertical hydraulic conductivity. Together these parameters describe the storage response of an aquifer system to changes in hydraulic head and surface elevation. Understanding aquifer parameters is useful for the ongoing management of groundwater resources.

Case studies in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, focus on land subsidence from groundwater withdrawal as well as distinct responses to artificial recharge efforts. In Christchurch, New Zealand, possible changes to aquifer properties due to earthquakes are investigated. In Houston, Texas, flood severity during Hurricane Harvey is linked to subsidence, which modifies base flood elevations and topographic gradients.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

153742-Thumbnail Image.png

The Sentinel-Arlington Volcanic Field, Arizona

Description

ABSTRACT

The Sentinel-Arlington Volcanic Field (SAVF) is the Sentinel Plains lava field and associated volcanic edifices of late Cenozoic alkali olivine basaltic lava flows and minor tephra deposits near the Gila

ABSTRACT

The Sentinel-Arlington Volcanic Field (SAVF) is the Sentinel Plains lava field and associated volcanic edifices of late Cenozoic alkali olivine basaltic lava flows and minor tephra deposits near the Gila Bend and Painted Rock Mountains, 65 km-100km southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. The SAVF covers ~600 km2 and consists of 21+ volcanic centers, primarily low shield volcanoes ranging from 4-6 km in diameter and 30-200 m in height. The SAVF represents plains-style volcanism, an emplacement style and effusion rate intermediate between flood volcanism and large shield-building volcanism. Because of these characteristics, SAVF is a good analogue to small-volume effusive volcanic centers on Mars, such as those seen the southern flank of Pavonis Mons and in the Tempe Terra region of Mars. The eruptive history of the volcanic field is established through detailed geologic map supplemented by geochemical, paleomagnetic, and geochronological analysis.

Paleomagnetic analyses were completed on 473 oriented core samples from 58 sites. Mean inclination and declination directions were calculated from 8-12 samples at each site. Fifty sites revealed well-grouped natural remanent magnetization vectors after applying alternating field demagnetization. Thirty-nine sites had reversed polarity, eleven had normal polarity. Fifteen unique paleosecular variation inclination and declination directions were identified, six were represented by more than one site with resultant vectors that correlated within a 95% confidence interval. Four reversed sites were radiometrically dated to the Matuyama Chron with ages ranging from 1.08 ± 0.15 Ma to 2.37 ± 0.02 Ma; and one normal polarity site was dated to the Olduvai normal excursion at 1.91 ± 0.59 Ma. Paleomagnetic correlations within a 95% confidence interval were used to extrapolate radiogenic dates. Results reveal 3-5 eruptive stages over ~1.5 Ma in the early Pleistocene and that the SAVF dammed and possibly diverted the lower Gila River multiple times. Preliminary modeling of the median clast size of the terrace deposits suggests a maximum discharge of ~11300 cms (~400,000 cfs) was necessary to transport observed sediment load, which is larger than the historically recorded discharge of the modern Gila River.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

154506-Thumbnail Image.png

Comparative evolution of the Shyok and Yarlung suture zones: implications for the collision Between India and Eurasia

Description

The collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates marked the onset of the rise of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen, but also brought about profound changes to the Earth's oceans and

The collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates marked the onset of the rise of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen, but also brought about profound changes to the Earth's oceans and climate. The exact sequence of events that occurred during this collision is poorly understood, leading to a wide range of estimates of its age. The Indus and Yarlung sutures are generally considered to represent the final collision between India and Eurasia, and together form a mostly continuous belt that can be traced over 2000 km along strike. In the western portions of the orogen the Karakoram Fault introduces a key complexity to the study of timing of collision by offsetting the Indus and Yarlung sutures. Recent work has used the complexities introduced by the Karakoram Fault to suggest that the more northerly Shyok suture, not the Indus suture, represents the India-Eurasia collision zone. Estimates for timing of the India-Eurasia collision fall into one of three groups: 40-34 Ma, 55-50 Ma, and 66-60 Ma. Attempts to reconcile these models have thus far been unsuccessful. In order to provide additional data that might further clarify the timing and location of collision, studies have been performed along the Shyok suture in India and along the Yarlung suture in Tibet at Sangsang. A study along the Shyok suture argues that the suture formed between 92-85 Ma. This timing precludes an interpretation that the Shyok suture marks the location of the India-Eurasia collision. A second study demonstrates the utility of two new geochronometers, (U-Th)/Pb joaquinite and 40Ar/39Ar neptunite, that play an important role in unraveling the tectonic history of the Yarlung suture. A third study is an investigation of the structure and geochronology of the Sangsang ophiolite complex. Here, multiple (U-Th)/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar systems record magmatism and metamorphism spanning ca. 125-52 Ma. By tying these chronometers to tectonic process, a history is reconstructed of the southern margin of Tibet that includes Early Cretaceous to Late Cretaceous forearc rifting associated with mid ocean ridge subduction, Paleocene accretionary wedge uplift and erosion, and finally Eocene metasomatism and collision.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

149701-Thumbnail Image.png

Eye-tracking investigations exploring how students learn geology from photographs and The structural setting of hydrothermal gold deposits in the San Antonio area, B.C.S., MX

Description

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features in the photograph. Although scale items seem innocuous to instructors and other experts, the presence of such items is distracting and has a profound effect on student learning behavior. To evaluate how students visually interact with distracting scale items in photographs and to determine if cueing or signaling is an effective means to direct students to pertinent information, students were eye tracked while looking at geologically-rich photographs. Eye-tracking data revealed that learners primarily looked at the center of an image, focused on faces of both humans and animals if they were present, and repeatedly returned to looking at the scale item (distractor) for the duration an image was displayed. The presence of a distractor caused learners to look at less of an image than when a distractor was not present. Learners who received signaling tended to look at the distractor less, look at the geology more, and surveyed more of the photograph than learners who did not receive signaling. The San Antonio area in the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula is host to hydrothermal gold deposits. A field study, including drill-core analysis and detailed geologic mapping, was conducted to determine the types of mineralization present, the types of structures present, and the relationship between the two. This investigation revealed that two phases of mineralization have occurred in the area; the first is hydrothermal deposition of gold associated with sulfide deposits and the second is oxidation of sulfides to hematite, goethite, and jarosite. Mineralization varies as a function of depth, whereas sulfides occurring at depth, while minerals indicative of oxidation are limited to shallow depths. A structural analysis revealed that the oldest structures in the study area include low-grade to medium-grade metamorphic foliation and ductile mylonitic shear zones overprinted by brittle-ductile mylonitic fabrics, which were later overprinted by brittle deformation. Both primary and secondary mineralization in the area is restricted to the later brittle features. Alteration-bearing structures have an average NNW strike consistent with northeast-southwest-directed extension, whereas unaltered structures have an average NNE strike consistent with more recent northwest-southeast-directed extension.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

152556-Thumbnail Image.png

Effects of fault segmentation, mechanical interaction, and structural complexity on earthquake-generated deformation

Description

Earth's topographic surface forms an interface across which the geodynamic and geomorphic engines interact. This interaction is best observed along crustal margins where topography is created by active faulting and

Earth's topographic surface forms an interface across which the geodynamic and geomorphic engines interact. This interaction is best observed along crustal margins where topography is created by active faulting and sculpted by geomorphic processes. Crustal deformation manifests as earthquakes at centennial to millennial timescales. Given that nearly half of Earth's human population lives along active fault zones, a quantitative understanding of the mechanics of earthquakes and faulting is necessary to build accurate earthquake forecasts. My research relies on the quantitative documentation of the geomorphic expression of large earthquakes and the physical processes that control their spatiotemporal distributions. The first part of my research uses high-resolution topographic lidar data to quantitatively document the geomorphic expression of historic and prehistoric large earthquakes. Lidar data allow for enhanced visualization and reconstruction of structures and stratigraphy exposed by paleoseismic trenches. Lidar surveys of fault scarps formed by the 1992 Landers earthquake document the centimeter-scale erosional landforms developed by repeated winter storm-driven erosion. The second part of my research employs a quasi-static numerical earthquake simulator to explore the effects of fault roughness, friction, and structural complexities on earthquake-generated deformation. My experiments show that fault roughness plays a critical role in determining fault-to-fault rupture jumping probabilities. These results corroborate the accepted 3-5 km rupture jumping distance for smooth faults. However, my simulations show that the rupture jumping threshold distance is highly variable for rough faults due to heterogeneous elastic strain energies. Furthermore, fault roughness controls spatiotemporal variations in slip rates such that rough faults exhibit lower slip rates relative to their smooth counterparts. The central implication of these results lies in guiding the interpretation of paleoseismically derived slip rates that are used to form earthquake forecasts. The final part of my research evaluates a set of Earth science-themed lesson plans that I designed for elementary-level learning-disabled students. My findings show that a combination of concept delivery techniques is most effective for learning-disabled students and should incorporate interactive slide presentations, tactile manipulatives, teacher-assisted concept sketches, and student-led teaching to help learning-disabled students grasp Earth science concepts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014